Fuel Cell-Packing Cockroaches Used to Generate Electricity
February 3, 2014 12:00 PM
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A 3D-printed prototype of the cell generated 50.2 microwatts of power from a single cockroach
A bug typically despised by many has actually proved to be useful in a new study, where the insects were used to create a wireless sensor network.
, Japanese researchers from Osaka University and Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology have developed tiny fuel cells that attach to the cockroaches and generate electricity.
The fuel cell -- which measures approximately 20 x 15mm and is comprised of electrodes, a tank of body fluid, and a needle that is inserted into the bug -- is placed on the cockroach. The bug's body fluid is a source of a type of sugar called trehalose, which helps generate the electricity.
The bug's body fluid makes its way into the tank (which has a dialysis membrane inside) via diffusion. From there, the trehalose is broken down into glucose by enzymes trehalase and mutarotase, and an oxidation-reduction reaction is used to oxidize the glucose on the positive electrode side and generate oxygen on the negative electrode side.
A 3D-printed prototype of the cell generated 50.2 microwatts of power from a single cockroach, and the study foresees a wireless sensor network of high-tech bugs.
The Japanese universities aren't the first to use cockroaches to generate electricity. In 2012, chemistry professor Daniel Scherson from Case Western Reserve University used enzymes capable of converting a cockroach's food consumption into electrons, which can then be sent through a fuel cell to generate electricity.
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RE: Precursor to 'The Matrix'?
2/3/2014 10:33:28 PM
If generating energy off of humans caused weight loss then people would pay a lot of money to be connected up.
If it could also charge your phone then that would be a bonus.
RE: Precursor to 'The Matrix'?
2/4/2014 1:44:35 PM
The number one way for humans to lose weight is to stop stuffing their pie hole with so much junk.
The second best way is for them to be physically active. Ya know--actually "do" something. :)
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